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Commission backs calls for better awareness on medication safety issues

Medicines (Reducing harm)
06 February 2016

The Health Quality & Safety Commission is supporting calls for more attention to be given to unsafe vaccine packaging and labelling.

The International Medication Safety Network (IMSN) has released a position statement urging greater focus on the issue.

Incidents related to vaccine packaging and labelling have occurred in New Zealand, and include the wrong vaccine being administered or being prepared incorrectly.

The IMSN discussed vaccine safety at its 2014 international network meeting which lead to the development of the position statement. The statement content was agreed at the 2015 network meeting in Columbia.

In the position statement, vaccine manufacturers are encouraged to revise the labelling and packaging of their products inline with the recommendations.

Anyone involved with the regulation, funding, or use of vaccines has also been asked to have input into improving vaccine safety and effectiveness.

The IMSN is a network of 26 countries and the World Health Organization, and aims to prevent medication errors and contribute to the safe care of patients. New Zealand is represented by the Commission through its medication safety team and the New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre

The Commission seeks to reduce the number of New Zealanders harmed by medication errors and adverse drug events each year by working with the health sector.

Read the IMSN’s position statement.

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